Planning and a history of successful events are the key to pulling this off. There are several months before the event that are spent in meetings, planning, and gathering the resources needed.
The actual event takes three or four nights of hard work.
We used to do it in four separate steps (nights) but we have now combined two steps into one long evening.
- Accept entries and fees, check entries for compliance with rules, log entries, sort into categories, assign tracking sequence numbers, prepare for judging.
- Judge the entries, display a category at a time allowing the judging panel to pick the 10 best for scoring. One by one score the prints that made the first cut. Two score keepers are used one using a computer the second recording the scores on paper as a back up to the computer. The winners are calculated by the computer. If prints have duplicate scores they are reviewed by the judging panel and the final determination for ribbons is done. Winning prints are taken to a station where volunteers record the prize, make up the ribbon for the print.
- Hang the prints for display during the up coming Fair. While the judging is being done prints that have been judged are brought to the display area of the convention center and a team of volunteers arrange and hang the prints.
- Once the Fair has opened volunteers periodically check the display and keep it maintained. The Monday after the Fair closes volunteers take down the display and distribute prints, ribbons, and prize money to the contestants.
After a sigh of relief we have a wrap up meeting to discuss what went well and what may not have gone so well. All this is documented for the next year's contest.